The Manifold Files are both archives and live monitors of ongoing journalistic investigations. Here is how to make the most of them.
Files are collections of stories, testimonies, primary source documents, and other information on issues of critical social importance. These collections both document the issues, in the sense of an archive, and are progressively expanded to include new material and significant updates, thus continually monitoring how the issues under investigation develop.
We use various techniques to ensure that Files are organised in ways that offer multiple reading options, with a view to balancing two seemingly contradictory angles: overview and depth.
This is a guide to the terms and techniques we use, and how you can navigate through The Manifold Files.
The Main Homepage displays info on all Files, including authors and contributors, as well as the languages in which each File is available. By clicking on a File title, you will be taken to the File Homepage, where you can access the File Menu. The Main Homepage also displays the latest Stories from all the Files, as well as the latest Articles from the News & Opinion section. When we publish something new, you will see it here. By clicking on these, you will be taken directly to the corresponding Story or Article. Clicking on the header (The Manifold Files logo) from anywhere in the website will take you back to the Main Homepage.
Each File Homepage has a File Menu which reads: Stories, Actors, Documents. This is your basic navigation tool. Switch between the three options to see preview cards of all Stories, Actors, and Documents in the File. By default, the most recently updated Stories appear first, while Actors appear alphabetically, and Documents by date (you can change this via Filtering and Sorting, see below). To the left, a counter shows you how many items are in each list of preview cards.
Preview cards provide an overview of the contents of each File, i.e. Stories, Actors and Documents. Each card shows you succinct info about an item, e.g. the title of a Story or a Document, or the name and the most important positions an Actor has served in, or whether a Story is new or has been updated, or how many other Stories or Actors or Documents it relates to.
Stories are, well, stories. They are the narrative component of the File, where we tell you what happened, according to our research. Stories take different forms, like Features, where complex developments are followed over extended periods; or Case Studies, where a representative case is documented and dissected in detail; or Interviews, where a conversation with a person whose views are quoted in other Stories is made available in full; or Reports, which highlight particular topics. By clicking on superscripted numbers, you can open explanatory side-notes. And by hovering over highlighted words, a Glossary definition will appear. At the end of each Story you will find preview cards of related Stories, Actors and Documents. These are also noted at the top, and you can skip to the end by clicking on the notation.
Actors are persons and institutions that drive events, and they offer an alternative, “character-centric” way of perusing a File. They appear under Stories and Documents. When you click on an Actor’s preview card, you will be taken to their profile, where you can see more information on their activities, as well as relevant external links. You will also see preview cards for all other Stories in which the particular Actor plays a role, and for Documents that are relevant to their activities. This information provides context to an Actor’s role within a Story, but also allows you to track their activities across several Stories and their relationship to several Documents. This is particularly useful in the case of policy-makers, who might have had long careers and therefore influenced developments at multiple junctures, or institutions that likewise have been active for extended periods.
Documents are primary sources of information that are used in or relate to Stories and Actors: laws, decrees, directives, official reports, studies, policy proposals, memoranda, letters etc. You will find relevant Documents under each Story and Actor, and in turn each Document lists all Stories and Actors that relate to it. A Document preview card provides succinct information on its contents, such as its date and its size. When you click on the card, you will find a link to a downloadable copy of the Document, as well as a link to where each Document was accessed, if available. Providing access to primary sources is a core tenet of The Manifold Files, and by linking them to Actors that are involved in their creation or use, and to Stories explaining their implementation or impact, we aim to offer another way to contextualise events.
Stories are categorised into Chapters. Chapters are, as the name suggests, big thematic divisions within a File. Stories, especially more complex ones, such as Features, will usually belong to more than one Chapter. Chapters are listed at the top of Stories and by clicking on one, you will see all Stories that belong to it. You can also use Chapters to filter Stories (see below).
Themes are also thematic categories, but they are more focused — and more numerous — than Chapters. Several of them, depending on the context, are assigned to each Story, Actor or Document, and are used to filter them in different ways (see below).
Below the File Menu, there are two expandable bars. The top one is for Filtering. You can filter Stories according to Chapter, Theme, Location (where the Story takes place), and Rubric (i.e. what kind of Story it is: Feature, Case Study, Report etc). For example, you can choose to see all Interviews in a specific Chapter that concern a specific Theme and take place in Athens. Similarly, you can filter Actors according to Kind (i.e. person or institution) and Theme; and Documents according to Type (i.e. Law, Decree, Policy Proposal etc) and Theme.
The expandable bar at the bottom is used for Sorting. You can sort Stories according to when they were published or updated or opt for a pre-selected order, curated by our team to give you the best overview of the File. Similarly, you can sort Actors alphabetically, or according to when they were added; and Documents alphabetically or according to date.
If you are looking for a specific term or phrase, you can use the Search function located at the top of the website. This will search across Files and return results grouped by File, Stories, Actors and Documents. You have a filtering option here also, so that you can refine your search within either Stories, Actors or Documents.
When you come across technical or unfamiliar terms in a Story, these will be highlighted in white. When you hover over them, a Glossary definition will appear. You can access the complete Glossary via the Global Menu (see below).
The Global Menu is the little burger shape that always appears on the upper left. By clicking it, you can access all Files. By clicking on a File title you will be taken to the corresponding File Homepage, where you can access the File Menu. The Global Menu also provides access to Actors and Documents across Files, meaning the complete repository of persons, institutions and primary source documents in the website. This is important because when you explore any particular File via its File Menu, you will — for reasons of clarity and economy — see only the Actors and Documents related to that File. Through the Global Menu, by contrast, you can explore all Actors and Documents, and see if they relate to more than one File. Filtering and Sorting options are available here, too. Finally, through the Global Menu you can access the Glossary, which includes definitions for terms from all the Files, sorted alphabetically.